For some reason, everyone decided to travel out of Quito this weekend for a long weekend, so I didn’t really have anything to do. There have been two afternoon things that I have wanted to do but haven’t found the time to do: visit the botanical garden in the park and go to a food market to try some new foods/buy different types of fruits. I decided that since I had the time and it never materialized with anyone else, I would go solo.
First I walked to the botanical garden. It is a nice setting for being in the middle of the city but there is still some noise from traffic. The garden is divided into multiple sections to represent different kinds of plants: la sierra (mountain highlands where Quito is located), the Amazon Rainforest, the cloud forest, cactus, orchids, carnivorous plants, and edible plants (cultivated in Ecuador). I recognized some of the plants from the sierra, as I have seen them in Quito and Cumbaya. My favorite section was probably between the cactus and carnivorous plant sections. There was also a nice rose garden, but couldn’t really beat Portland’s.
Afterwards, I went to the Iñaquito market. The market was amazing but a bit overwhelming because there were so many vendor selling everything food related, including many selling the same types of vegetables. I ended up buying a mango, a type of fruit from cactus called tuna, and another type of fruit called pitahaya. If the international foodies group wants to cook sometime, we should all buy stuff at the market. All of the walking around made me really thirsty, so I bought some coconut juice from a juice stand. It was creamy, frothy, sweet, and refreshing. I have also been wanting to try grilled banana stuffed with cheese, something I see a lot on the street. I found some on my way home and bought one. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t particularly good either. I thought it was a bit over-charred.